How Music Got Its Edge Back: Indie Meets Rap

Hip-Hop and rap are experiencing a strong resurgence of late (don’t call it a comeback!). After years of indie rock and pop ruling the airwaves, young people are looking for a new sound to call their own, branching out into electronic and rediscovering rap.At SXSW this year, fans could catch shows from heavy hitters including Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Wiz Kalifa, as well as lesser-known acts.Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are headlining Coachella this summer.

The meshing of the indie and rap scenes is having an interesting effect on music. Taking a cue from indie bands, newer acts like Azealia Banks are creating a new sound that could almost be called “Indie Rap.” The Harlem-native’s songs are most definitely “R-rated” and fierce, but instead of rhyming about “thug life,” she raps about urban life, making her badass, but also relatable. It’s that cross-over potential that brings both rap fans and indie fans to her shows.

Urban music needed an infusion of edge to recapture the attention of young people. Hip-hop legends like Jay-Z and Kanye have gone mainstream, getting wider airplay and gaining older fans (while simultaneously cleaning up their style, rapping less about illegal activities and more about luxury lifestyle). Young music fans were looking for something to call their own — music their parents wouldn’t listen to but that they could still relate to. It’s the same reason they’re straying away from the indie genre: hipsters and soccer moms aren’t supposed to like the same music.

In the same vein as acts like Odd Future, Azealia Banks is making her mark by being irreverent and very NSFW, simultaneously alienating older audiences and intriguing young Millennials. The video for her biggest hit so far, “212,” has been viewed more than 7.5 million times, but contains so many naughty…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I put off/dread calling people in general. Everything should be done online by this time!” –Female, 30, FL 

In a continued effort to draw back the teen consumers they’ve lost, Abercrombie & Fitch’s logo will “be dead” in U.S. stores by 2015. Globally, the Abercrombie and Hollister logos and names will still be used on designs, but will be phased out here where the brand knows it is no longer considered a status symbol. Abercrombie’s sales continue to fall, and the retailer is making efforts to appeal to a different youth mentality by removing references to “Ivy League heritage,” making the brand “totally accessible,” and toning down the club-like atmosphere in-store. (BuzzFeed)

Following heartbreaking stories of the death of toddlers forgotten by their parents in hot cars, automakers made claims that they would be working on new technology to help prevent the tragedies. But years later that technology has not been produced, so parents and teens are developing it instead. Independent entrepreneurs are working on a slew of solutions for baby on board tech that would stop hot-car deaths, including car seat sensors, smartphone apps, and low-tech solutions. Many are seeking backing on crowdfunding sites to make their products a reality. (Washington Post)

Ck one was an iconic ‘90s product, but the brand has kept up with the youth market in order to stay relevant with a new generation. The fragrance, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, relies on social media platforms, including Snapchat andTumblr, to attract Millennials and stay engaged. When creating their latest TV ad, they invited all participating talent to take behind-the-scenes pictures, selfies, and video, which were then used to “seed” the new campaign on social. The Snapchat campaign has “seen more than 1 million views in just a month and a half.” (Mediapost)

Just a few years ago, Hollywood was incredulous that YouTube was anything more than a collection of amateur vloggers, and certainly most didn’t believe that it would change the traditional entertainment world. But now, YouTube has become a “Hollywood hit factory” for teen entertainment. Smaller companies that realized the platform’s potential early have grown massively, big studios are snapping up YouTube studios to get in on the action, and programming is in the midst of  “rapid consolidation.” Our social media trend tracker shows that as of March 2014, YouTube has become the number one platform teens use, with 89% telling us they use the video site compared to 80% who say they use Facebook. (Businessweek)

Earlier this summer, a report that fewer teens were interested in getting summer jobs than ever before had older generations rolling their eyes at the slacker youth who “don’t want to work.” But new research indicates that it might not just be that lazy kids these days want to spend their summers taking selfies: It could be that teen jobs don’t pay off the way they used to. Millennials with summer jobs don’t see the future wage increase that teens in the ‘70s and ‘80s did. (Vox

Every day we deliver Millennial insights to your inbox, but every quarter, we look at some of the larger trends happening within the generation—and why they matter to brands. Our Gold subscribers have access to the Ypulse Quarterly report, an in-the-know guide to Millennials that synthesizes the major trends and stats we’ve seen over the last quarter of the year. We take a close look at the "why behind the what" and provide in-action examples and supportive data, along with implications for you to take away. (Ypulse)

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